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Do you get acknowledgement?

(49 Posts)
Bluekitchen192 Tue 12-Jun-18 09:23:42

Ive been coming to understand that I never seem to be acknowledged for myself and wondered if this is a generational thing? Im nearly seventy and my family had a policy of not praising or acknowledging any achievements in their children. I was academically bright but my mother always told me to be humble that my gift belonged to God and that I should thank Him. I came to resent this,

I was married to a chap who expected me to be responsible for all financial and housekeeping matters and his role as pointing out where things might go wrong.

I have been noticing that my children do not thank me for gifts, meals, babysitting etc. and I realised that I was very hurt that my daughter did not acknowledge m
e in her wedding speech.

Does anyone else feel overlooked? I work hard, contribute to the community and help out my children without complaint as much as I can. Yet I feel ignored somehow.

Bridgeit Tue 12-Jun-18 09:56:19

Hi Bluekitchen,sorry to read that you feel ignored,I think sadly this happens to many of us who are obliging & helpful. Firstly I think you have taken a first step in acknowledging yourself & all you have & do for other.if you can build on this & start saying no to others request., you can just Ohh I’m really sorry on this occasion I can’t help,etc etc. You will feel terrible to begin with but you must stick to it.also can you join a group or take up a hobby & don’t give it up to suit someone else’s a gender. Be proud of yourself & kind to yourself treat yourself as nicely as you do others you deserve it. Best wishes you can do it ?

Antonia Tue 12-Jun-18 10:08:46

Not to be mentioned in your daughter's wedding speech is hurtful. Was her father mentioned at all? If your children can't manage to say thank you for babysitting and gifts, then stop doing the sitting and giving the gifts. If it's mentioned then tell them why. My family know that I like to be thanked for whatever I do or give, I have made this pretty clear on occasions. They might resent it and laugh at me but at least they do it. To accept a gift without any acknowledgement is just downright rude, whether it's family or not.

Day6 Tue 12-Jun-18 10:15:56

I agree with Bridgeitin that we have to be kind to ourselves if others are uncaring and thoughtless towards us.

I am sorry you are feeling down -trodden and taken for granted Bluekitchen but given most of us are in the Autumn or Winter of our lives, it's now or never really, isn't it?
You can ask that others in the family respect you and acknowledge you, but it may be a request in vain given your position in life seems set.

I wouldn't want to be around thoughtless, self centred people, even if they were family members. If possible, start planning adventures for yourself. No need to make huge waves of have fallings out, but do try to be unavailable more often than not. Your family may just begin to wonder what's going on and hopefully appreciate you a bit more. Good luck.

henetha Tue 12-Jun-18 10:38:41

I know what you mean, Bluekitchen192. I've done a lot for my family and have felt taken for granted sometimes.
But as they are all quite good to me, mostly, I can't really complain. I don't think you are being unreasonable, and it does sound as if they could do with a little kick in the pants.
Maybe you should look out more for yourself and not be quite so ready to oblige all the time. Do what you want to do and don't be so ready to help all the time. If they complain then perhaps point out to them how you feel.
It's fine to be loving and helpful parents and grandparents, but we should not have to feel like doormats.

Madgran77 Tue 12-Jun-18 10:43:58

Recognise this Bluekitchen! flowers

OldMeg Tue 12-Jun-18 11:10:33

Odd that this should come up just now. I’ve been thinking about those who I’ve helped in the past and more recently.

Then I got to thinking about those same people who hadn’t ‘been there for me’ when I needed help.

My conclusion? I now know who my friends really are (sometimes quite surprising) and who aren’t worth the effort.

And in future the latter can just get lost as far as I’m concerned.

sodapop Tue 12-Jun-18 14:54:56

I made an effort some time ago to thank or praise my family and friends when they achieved something or were specially helpful. I am not a demonstrative person but have found its two way street we need to offer appreciation then it will be returned.

Jane10 Tue 12-Jun-18 15:18:42

Good point sodapop!
Manners and politeness are important ie saying please and thank you. However, 'acknowledgement' is something else. What do you want families to do? I find it useful to look at what people do rather than what they say. Are your family quick to help if asked? Are you included in family events? Younger people are busy with their own lives. They don't have the thinking time that we older people have. Don't look for slights when they're most likely not even thinking of you. Or is the latter the problem? We're just plain not as important to them as we might think we are.

M0nica Tue 12-Jun-18 21:50:44

I think some women, in particular, tend to put themselves down in their own families 'You don't have to thank me. I'm your mother.' 'What are mothers for'. etc etc. So our children listen to us and do as we say and take everything we do for granted.

maryhoffman37 Wed 13-Jun-18 10:49:19

I am very sorry to hear of your predicament. It must be horrible to feel taken no account of. BUT why have you waited so long for the worm to turn? No thankyous for presents or babysitting? Why did you let them getaway with it? I presume the husband is ex or late. But you have let yourself be used as a doormat for so long that everyone accepts this version of the family dynamic. It is not too late to rise up and assert yourself. Take a self-assertiveness course if necessary but remember you are teaching your GC that it is OK to overlook a kind and giving grandmother, mother and wife.

jessycake Wed 13-Jun-18 10:50:23

Yes, and I recognise that I have been part of the problem . We never had much money when my kids were growing up and I didn't really put enough value in myself and my needs because I always felt guilty that they were missing out .

Edithb Wed 13-Jun-18 10:58:45

We were not mentioned in my son’s wedding speech. I said to my husband later that we had lost him and I was right as they spend every holiday with his wife’s family and they get to see our granddaughters much more often and for longer than we do. Her family are extremely well off I just feel grateful I have a daughter and her son nearby. I have lots of activities and groups and have made many new friends since retiring and I recommend it for getting you out of the house.

Coconut Wed 13-Jun-18 11:04:12

I have never received any acknowledgement from my mother for any achievements. However, my 3AC and their partners do spoil me rotten for all my help over the years with babysitting etc. I have been given tickets to see Lionel Richie, Il Divo (twice), taken to the Ritz and the Waldorf for afternoon Champagne and cream cakes, plus a meal up in the Shard. So I do actually feel quite spoilt by my 3 and as it’s something I have never been used to, it does feel extra special.

ReadyMeals Wed 13-Jun-18 11:04:49

Bluekitchen, I understand how you feel, and it would be very nice if your family bothered to express their appreciation. Just to get some perspective on this though, remember how many people here have estranged children who don't turn up to meals to thank them for, won't let them babysit, don't even invite them to their weddings. Or controlling husbands who won't even let them see their family finances let alone do the books. On a non-verbal level your family are expressing their appreciation by continuing to come and enjoy the meals you make and by continuing to ask you to share time with their children, and remembering to invite you to special occasions. All these things are saying "You're my valued mother" and "You're my respected wife"

Abbeygran Wed 13-Jun-18 11:06:33

Oh yes, a thousand times yes. I just feel undervalued and sad. I’d do anything for my family but it’s now assumed that I will regardless, my needs now come second. Rant over.

Apricity Wed 13-Jun-18 11:08:56

Bluekitchen I do think you have touched on a very important and sensitive nerve here. Sometimes it seems to be a case of we've always been there for our families and whatever we do is seen as just normal, not special or needing acknowledgement; maybe it's the "woman thing" of being invisible and taken for granted and sometimes I think there is an element of ageism as well.

Maybe our expectations are too high. We nurture our young ones to the very best of our ability and we launch them into the world. Then the energy seems to all flow towards the next generation not backwards. Maybe that is the way of the world and of life itself. Perhaps our satisfaction and reward lies in launching good people into the world and we are being unrealistic to expect more. I don't know the answers but it's certainly food for thought.

Grampie Wed 13-Jun-18 11:10:48

All we can do ourselves is to recognize the achievements of others.

patriciageegee Wed 13-Jun-18 11:20:51

As other posters have said be kind to yourself bluekitchen - it's clear you have done your absolute best as a mum and grandma and that your family do really appreciate all you have done for them even if they don't say so. Perhaps it's your measure of your own self worth, like mine and many others', who prioritise them first and us last. So in a way, it's a bit unreasonable to expect our adult children to change the habits of a lifetime yet, as it's clearly making you unhappy, start the process of change by maybe trying to be less bothered about expressions of gratitude while doing more for yourself and less for them. I know I was a bit guilty of selfishness in my 20s & 30s. I would hope I would have always expressed my thanks but I'm not 100% sure I did.

ajanela Wed 13-Jun-18 11:21:40

Well from your family history in your post it seems that praise and thanks were not practised in your family so maybe your family didn't get into the habit or learn how to do it. I do agree the older generation were taught to be modest.

I feel that although the British will say please, thank you and sorry for minor things they are less able to express their thanks and feelings on other occasions. It is not a matter of manners, but more having the confidence to express your feelings. Don't dwell on not being thanked you are just hurting yourself and I am sure they didn't realise they should.

Try giving praise and thanking family members when ever you can and you might change their behavior.

Molly10 Wed 13-Jun-18 11:23:44

It seems that you have unwittingly laid yourself down as a doormat for all to walk over.

You are not too old to put your own needs first, which includes being thanked and respected.

No longer accept that you make plans financial or otherwise for anyone to pull apart.

Live your deserved retirement years in a way which gives you pleasure and enjoyment lessening any negative thoughts about the lack of thanks from all.

When you are unavailable and not at everyone's beck and call you may find gratitude will ring out.


Nannan2 Wed 13-Jun-18 11:48:31

I think its a modern thing tbh- my 'older kids' all make a point of having my grandchildren thank me for their gifts,as do they- but my 2 youngest children, still at home,19&15 dont always thank me without prompting- even though ive brought them up the same as older ones.

Nannan2 Wed 13-Jun-18 12:01:06

And yes i agree the more we do it means its maybe taken for granted as its seen as being 'ussual',part& parcel of mothering i guess- ive certainly done more for my youngest 2 than older ones i think,(still am) so i suppose its seen as 'part of my job' as a mum ?it still is nice to be thanked though,im going to make a point of 'prompting' them more in future so they get the hint.

FlorenceFlower Wed 13-Jun-18 12:42:31

Dear BlueKitchen, I think you are absolutely right, I also grew when children were seldom praised or thanked, and we certainly weren’t allowed to ‘boast’.

Reading this thread, however, I am worried that I didn’t thank my own wonderful mother enough before she died, I think I took a lot of things for granted.

Hope that you resolve your worries, am sorry that your daughter didn’t acknowledge you in her wedding speech, it may have made an inadvertent omission but nevertheless, very hurtful.

You have a family who seem to welcome you into their lives, and that might be (in the words of the Jack Nicholson film) ‘As good as it gets’ .... but in a good way! ?

grandtanteJE65 Wed 13-Jun-18 12:48:09

Unfortunately, manners change from generation to generation, so I think most of us sometimes feel that our children never show their appreciation,

Not saying thank you for a present is downright rude, I have on more than one occasion when no thanks have been forthcoming, asked straight out "Did you get the present I sent?" and received very shame-faced thanks.

If you brought your children up to say thank you and to show appreciation in general, I don't think there is anything wrong in telling them you feel hurt when they "forget" but it may not do any good.